dorset chiapas solidarity

July 6, 2016

Zibechi: Communities stand up for life



Zibechi: Communities stand up for life

The National Campaign in Defence of Mother Earth and Territory



dsc0018_550The campfires in Cherán, Michoacán, Mexico.


By: Raúl Zibechi

Dozens of communities in resistance from 17 states of Mexico have started a long campaign that seeks to coordinate struggles, denounce extractivism and offer a space for mutual aid among those who are being attacked by capital and the State.

“The campaign seeks a dialogue and common actions that construct a fabric,” explains Gerardo Meza of the Acapatzingo Housing Community, in Mexico City. “Because the State takes advantage of the lack of information about what happens to the megaprojects it impels against the peoples. Therefore, we seek to construct non-organic organizational spaces for generating identity in the neighbourhoods and to weave a process of autonomy in Mexico City.”

Gerardo refers to the National Campaign in Defence of Mother Earth and Territory that started on April 10 and will culminate on November 20, two dates with deep rebel content in Mexico. The Francisco Villa Popular Organization of the Independent Left participated in it along with 180 organizations from 17 states, grouped into nine regions. A Committee for Mother Earth made up of 40 musicians, actors, religious men and women and professionals supports the campaign, which at each activity united hundreds and thousands of people: from the 1,500 that went to the launch in Mexico City on April 10, to the hundreds who mobilized in support of Xochicuautla, where the community resists the construction of a superhighway in the State of Mexico.

“The spearhead of the extractive model is mining,” Meza reasons, “levelling entire communities, taking territory away from them and destroying their identities.” The campaign places affected communities in a relationship with other affected communities in a direct, horizontal relationship, not mediated by representatives but rather of people to people. Of the campaign signers, 97 communities and barrios have conflicts with extractivist capital and the State, and resist often with very high human costs.

In the Mexican capital, for example, the barrios are being affected by urban infrastructure and communication projects, through the construction of metro lines, inter-urban trains and real estate speculation, one of the most destructive and least analysed facets of the extractive model. We’re able to talk about an “urban extractivism,” which is connected with the general model and in many cases acts to complement the mode of accumulation, since the enormous profits from mono-crops and mining are apt to be invested in urban speculation, which results in the gentrification of the cities and the expulsion of the poorest inhabitants.

From Norte to South: young and brave women

The Campaign reports that the most of the conflicts are produced by the construction of hydroelectric dams and other energy generation projects (34%), followed closely by mining projects (32%). Transportation projects like highways and trains (12%) and urbanization (11%) appear at more distance. The privatization of water embraces 15% of the conflicts, but many mining and energy projects also appropriate the commons, like water, therefore this must be one of the principal motives for the community resistances.

In the north, in the state of Sonora, the Comcáac Nation resists the destruction of 100 kilometres of Pacific littoral, where fisherpeople seek to save their sources of work from the La Peineta mining project. Gabriela Molina, of the Comcáac Territory Defenders organization, assures that half of his peoples’ territory has been conceded to a mining company that seeks to extract iron, copper and silver at sites that are sacred to his nation. “The nation is a place where deer and bighorn sheep reproduce, because of which we don’t want an extractive activity on our territory, which is also very close to the Canal del Infiernillo, where there are plants that we use for our artesanía, like jojoba and elephant tree (torote), and it is thus a site of material spiritual importance for the survival of our people.”

As happens all over the world, mining succeeded in dividing the Comcáac people with promises and a few resources. “Our group is made up of 22 women who organize against mining and we are dedicated to informing the peoples of the Sonora Sierra who are not familiar with what mining is,” Gabriela says. As Comcáac Nation, they are supported with the Traditional Guard, armed self-defence that was born in 1979 for the protection of autonomous territory. The guard is elected by the council of elders and the traditional governor and is composed as much by men as women.

“Until we added ourselves to the campaign our people were invisible,” Gabriela finished; she also denounces hydric extractivism that diverts water for business production and tourist projects in zones her people inhabit.

Since 2008, the town of San José del Progreso, in the state of Oaxaca, has opposed the arrival of a mining company in a campesino population that cultivates corn, beans and garbanzos. According to official data of the Secretariat of the Economy, since the approval of the 1992 Mining Law, Mexico delivered 31,000 concessions on almost 51 million hectares to more than 300 companies that manage around 800 projects. Rosalinda Dionisio, who is a member of the Coordinator of United Peoples of the Ocotlán Valley, suffered an attack when members of the organization were ambushed for opposing the mining Cuzcatlán, a subsidiary of the Canadian Fortuna Silver Mines, which exploits 700 hectares for extracting uranium, gold and silver.

The mine is located near the San José del Progreso municipality, one of the three poorest in the state. Although the better part of its six thousand inhabitants reject mining, the mayor supports it and heads a group that attacks members of the Coordinator. In February and March 2012, the activists were attacked, in one case by the municipal police and in another by unknown persons, with a result of two dead and various injured, among them Rosalinda. That was the reaction to the community protests, when tubes were installed to carry water to the mine, diverting it away from the campesinos’ crops.

A monster that is called the State

“With the campaign we seek to speak clearly with other communities, since we must redouble in the face of repression, and be able to inform other peoples about what is happening to us,” Rosalinda explains. “We have a monster State that has hit us very hard, with disappearances, with repression, and therefore we need a network to support each other, based on mutual aid, for confronting the monster that takes life away from us,” says this young and brave woman, survivor of the war against the peoples. She has still not completely recovered her mobility after various surgeries, but she shows an admirable combative spirit.

The resistance of the community of Cherán doesn’t need presentation, because since 2011 it has been an example for peoples who resist the extractive model and the armed groups (state or paramilitary) that promote and protect it. Severiana Fabián, a member of the High Council of the P’urhépecha indigenous community of Cherán, also forms part of the National Campaign in Defence of Mother Earth and Territory. Her community rose up to expel the criminal woodcutters supported by local caciques.

“We fight to defend a commons that is Mother Earth,” explains Severiana. The key to the success of this community is its organization, extensive and profound, which reaches all corners, is open and transparent, solid and convincing. “We are organized by uses and customs (traditional indigenous governing practices) and we have attained that Cherán is calm and secure by the force of our community organization,” says a woman who feels proud of the work accomplished in five years, which she considers an example for Mexicans.

The form of organization, from below to above, begins by the campfires. There are four barrios (neighbourhoods) and in each one there are between 50 and 60 campfires (fogatas), at the rate of one per block. There are 53 campfires in Severiana’s barrio, which speaks of a way of outdoor organization, in which families can participate, from the children to the elderly. Each barrio elects three individuals to the High Council, in which there are currently three women.

Cherán has a population of 20,000 inhabitants and in each one of the 240 campfires installed on each corner there are some one hundred people. “This organization is the key to everything,” exclaims Severiana. The campfires are meeting places among neighbours, spaces where the community is re-created, but they are also organs of power in which collective decisions are made and where the participation of women is decisive.

As the synthesis of these years of struggle, Severiana assures that in Cherán “courage overcame fear.” Maybe it will be the legacy of this community that it can gather and expand the National Campaign in Defence of Mother Earth and Territory.


Originally Published in Spanish by Rebelión

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Re-published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee

Minor edits for UK audience by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity




May 31, 2016

Mexico: Current Campaigns in Defense of Mother Earth

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 4:44 pm



Mexico: Current Campaigns in Defense of Mother Earth

from Defensa Madre Tierra

translated by Earth First! Journal




On April 10, 179 towns and organizations from 17 states publicly launched the National Campaign in Defense of Mother Earth and Territory. Today, that figure has grown to 215 registered communities and towns in total, including 43 academics, musicians, theatrical and religious actors–all together making up the Committee for Mother Earth.

So-called “progress and development” are permanent threats to the people and their natural assets. There are 97 conflicts which our communities face: Power Generation Projects 34%; Mines and mining project 32%; Privatization of water 15%; Transport infrastructure 12%; Construction 11%; Water extraction 7%; tourist developments 7%; Environmental pollution 6%; Logging 4%; Lack of land regularization 4%; Water management 4%; and GMO Soy 1%.

Since the launching of this campaign, the following 11 campaigns have grown more tense:

1-In San Salvador, Atenco: against the New Airport of Mexico City project, specifically the construction of the highway “Pirámides-Texcoco” in Tocuila.

2-The Papagayo river, in Guerrero: against gravel extraction and the possible reactivation of arrest warrants against spokesmen Council of Ejidos [communal land] and Communities Opposed to La Parota Dam.

3-In Tecámac and Coyotepec: threats to the integration of Autonomous Systems of Potable Water.

4-In neighborhoods of Santo Domingo and towns of Pueblos La Candelaria and Los Reyes, in Mexico City: defending the wellspring which is affected by real estate.

5-In the Otomí community of San Francisco Magú: fighting the real estate development in the Paradise Forests (Bosques del Paraíso).

6-In Xochicuautla: against the plunder, home demolition, destruction of infrastructure for the Naucalpan-Toluca highway.

7-In Amilcingo, Morelos: judicial harassment of Eleazar Zamora and Samir Flores, land defenders.

8-The San Pedro river: resisting attempts to construct the hydroelectric dam “Las Cruces” after an alleged consultation to the Náyeri people.

9-In the Maya de Chablekal, Yucatán community: a police sweep results in four people arrested and one family evicted.

All these actions are systemic violations of human rights, with heavy impact on the social culture. Without land, there is no culture, there is no life!

Six weeks since its launch, there have been diverse activities developed:
April 12– Declaration of Chipaneca towns and communities joined the campaign.
April 13– Protest in support of Xochicuatla.
April 21– Presentation of National Campaign in Oaxaca
April 23– Film screening in National Cineteca
April 29– Protest in the neighborhoods of Pedregales in south Mexico City in defense of a spring
May 2– Presentation of book “Common Struggles” in UACM
May 3-4– Activities on tenth anniversary of San Salvador Atenco’s repression
May 6– Occupation of mining installation by United Towns in the Ocotlán valley
May 7-8– “Rodada” by Atenco [?]
May 8– Festival for Neighborhoods in Resistance 2016 in Carrasco, Mexico City
May 21– Launching of Campaign in Western Region of Guadalajara, Jalisco with Leonardo Boff, First Nations, and Fighters in Resistance

Facing the violence and plunder of the State and the large capitalist companies, the Campaign for the Defense of Mother Earth and Territory begins a new phase of producing diffusion materials [propaganda], a result of intense work by investigators and professional artists who accompany them. We invite you to be on the look-out for these activities and the materials which we will soon publish.





Campaña en Defensa de la Madre Tierra y el Territorio y el Comité por la Madre Tierra



Mexico: Current Campaigns in Defense of Mother Earth



April 22, 2016

Deepening Police Violence in Mexico: “Ley Eruviel,” Megaprojects and Organized Resistance




Deepening Police Violence in Mexico: “Ley Eruviel,” Megaprojects and Organized Resistance




Written by Ryan A. Knight

The authorities of the state of Mexico have grown impatient, or perhaps even fearful.  Faced with the well-organized and constantly growing resistance to countless megaprojects in the state of Mexico—projects driven by the ruthless pursuit of capital accumulation—political authorities have sought justification and legal protection to violently repress the resistance and see these projects through.

On January 29, 2016, the governor of the state of Mexico, Eruviel Ávila Villegas, proposed the “Ley que Regula el Uso de la Fuerza Publica” (Law that Regulates the Use of Public Force).  The law was officially approved on March 17, 2016 by the congress of the State of Mexico with only the left-leaning party, Morena, voting against it.[i] It officially takes effect after 90 days.  Those in favour argue for the necessity to clarify, what until has been unspecified, the proper regulations that security forces must follow in using force against the public.

The content of the law provides an entirely different picture, with social organizations quickly renaming the bill, some calling it “Ley Atenco” and others calling it “Ley Eruviel”[ii] to better suit its true character.  In stark contrast to its official justification, the law designs a legal framework for which authorities can use extensive violence against the public, particularly against demonstrations and acts of organized resistance.  Here is a list of just some of the relevant articles in the law:

Article 8: “When it is exceptional, strictly necessary and inevitable, to protect the life of the people and members of public security, they can use lethal weapons”.

A lethal weapon they define in article 2 as: “An object or instrument that is used by members of public security against threats or aggressions that causes severe wounds or death…” (3).

Article 14: “The members of public security will be able to use force to control the multitudes and public disturbances, to re-establish order and social peace, with the intention to avoid acts of violence, damage to bystanders, property, and the physical integrity of the people (8).

Article 15: When in an assembly or reunion, the people are found to be armed or when the petitions or protest against the authorities express threats to intimidate or force to resolve in a certain sense, the assembly or reunion will be considered illegal and the authorities will proceed in conformity with what is ordered in this law” (8)

Article 16: The determination of whether to use force, in the case of assemblies, demonstrations or reunions, violent or illegal, will be taken by the command responsible for the operation, under its strict liability, and must immediately inform the superior command of such a determination of the pertinent purposes (8)

Article 40: The use of force is the last resort, however, it can be used as the first option, provided that it complies with the suppositions and conditions established in this law and other legal provisions (12)[iii]

Exemplified above, the law gives security forces the green light to carry out deadly force in times they feel necessary.  The authority to determine when “exceptional measures” are necessary is based in the decision-making of the forces carrying out the operation, basically allowing them to do as they please in the moment without any repercussions.  Furthermore the political representatives who have approved the bill remain completely immune to any potential punishment of the law’s misuse.

Social organizations were quick to contextualize the law referencing the extremely violent measures carried out against the community of San Salvador Atenco nearly ten years ago.  In 2001, in the community of San Salvador Atenco, in the valley of Mexico, indigenous campesinxs organized themselves into the “Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra- Atenco” (People’s Front in Defence of the Land- Atenco) to reject the expropriation of 104 square kilometres of land to construct a new airport for Mexico City.[iv] Land being the lifeblood of campesinx communities, the ordered expropriation sought to dispossess 4,375 families from land that was granted to them under the ejido system—a system of communal land tenure tracing back to the gains won by the Mexican Revolution of 1910.  After nine months of resilient resistance, along with extensive international support, the People’s Front in Defence of the Land succeeded in having the expropriation decree cancelled and the airport project halted.  For president Vicente Fox, and the governor of the state of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, this defeat did not sit well.

On the third and fourth of May 2006, authorities found the opportunity for revenge.  Responding to a governmental dispute with flower vendors in the nearby town of Texcoco, members of the People’s Front in Defence of the Land provided sought after support, blocking a federal highway Texcoco-Lechería.  In the ensuing repression administered by some 2,500 state, municipal, and federal police, 207 people were arbitrarily detained (many of which were brutally beaten), 5 non-Mexican citizens were deported, 47 women were detained (of which 26 reported being victims of sexual torture at the hands of state authorities), and two teenagers were killed.[v] The gross human rights violations to this day remain unpunished.

The recent provocations in the state of Mexico, within the context of what is being called “Ley Eruviel” by the resistance, suggests just another example of the ongoing state violence committed against communities in resistance in Mexico.  On April 11, 2016, heavy machinery accompanied by some 800 riot police besieged the Otomí Indigenous town of San Francisco Xochicuautla in the municipality of Lerma, Mexico State to recommence work on the highway project Toluca-Naucalpan.  Entering from three different sides of the community, the bulldozers under the protection of riot police destroyed the Campamento de Paz y de Digna Resistencia (Encampment of Peace and Dignified Resistance) that was built as a symbol of peaceful resistance to the highway project in the Otomí forest.  On the other end of the Otomí forest, authorities threatened to destroy the house of community member Dr. Armando Garcia, claiming it to be on federally owned land and in the pathway of the projected highway project.  Despite community members entering the house hoping to protect if from destruction, the house was violently torn to the ground.  Those inside were forced to quickly evacuate removing what few items they could before the destruction took place.

The Otomí community of San Francisco Xochicuautla has for ten years organized resistance to the Toluca-Naucalpan highway project that seeks to connect the urban areas of Toluca and Mexico City.  Joining forces with various other communities affected by the highway project—including San Lorenzo Huitzizilapan and Santa Cruz Ayotuxco among others—they formed the “Frente de Pueblos Indígenas en Defensa de la Madre Tierra” (Indigenous People’s Front in Defence of Mother Earth).   On July 9th, 2015, President Enrique Peña Nieto signed a presidential decree expropriating some 93 acres of indigenous land, including a large swath of the forest.  However, on February 11th and 18th of this year, a district judge ruled against the presidential decree and in favour of the Xochicuautla community, citing its violation of the human rights of the indigenous peoples. [vi] This injunction was subsequently violated in the provocations of April 11th and 12th.

After the two-day siege on Xochicuautla, members of the community, lawyers, activists, and representatives of the state and federal government sat down at the negotiating table in Mexico City on April 13, 2016.  Agreements were reached among others to temporarily stop the highway project while other options are thoroughly explored, and for the government to pay reparations for the destruction of the house of Dr. Armando Garcia and his family.[vii] It is important to note the that the highway project is under the commission of the private company Autopistas de Vanguardia S.A. de C.V. that belongs to the Grupo Higa—a company with extensive connections to president Enrique Peña Nieto, including various other scandalous megaprojects dating back to Nieto’s tenor as governor of the state of Mexico.[viii]

Simultaneous to the provocations in San Francisco Xochicuautla, on April 12, at the other end of the Mexican state, in the valley of Mexico, the army entered the ejidal lands of San Salvador Atenco, in order to escort a work crew in the beginning stages of the construction of the new airport in Mexico City.  Having won the cancellation of the project under the presidential administration of Vicente Fox in 2002, current president Enrique Peña Nieto has reinitiated the project, already selling off contracts for the necessary infrastructure development of the airport.  The People’s Front in Defence of the Land of San Salvador Atenco have responded diligently to this latest aggression, organizing daily patrols to monitor intrusions onto their ejidal lands.

For many, including the Centre for Human Rights Zeferino Ladrillero, the simultaneity of aggressions is not a mere coincidence, but rather a strategy designed to instigate confrontations in order to justify the necessity of their newly minted “Ley Eruviel.”  The provocations are also taking place amidst the launch of “La Campaña Nacional en Defensa de la Madre Tierra y el Territorio” (National Campaign of Defense of Land and Territory) [ix], which has already garnered participation from some 175 organizations, collectives, and communities across the entire Mexican Republic.  Furthermore, a campaign against the “Ley Eruviel” entitled, “Fuego de la Digna Resistencia” (Fire of the Dignified Resistance) has also been launched gathering communities, collectives and social organizations in the state of Mexico.  Both San Francisco Xochicuautla and People’s Front in Defence of the Land in San Salvador Atenco are participating in both campaigns.

The aggressions and provocations sit within the larger context of the recent wide-reaching federal energy reforms that were implemented by the Peña Nieto administration in 2014.  Corporations from across the globe, under the assistance of the Mexican government, are preparing to cash-in on the new measures of privatization embodied in the reforms.  In between these companies and their loot, lies an impediment to the realization of surplus value—the dignified resistance of the people of Mexico, who in the face of continued repression, harassment, and violence, stand strong in defence of mother earth and their territory.


Ryan A. Knight is an educator, writer, organizer and PhD candidate at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa.  He currently resides in Mexico and is working towards the completion of his dissertation on autonomous politics and communal forms of self-organization.  He can be reached at:


[ii] Some collectives have called the law “Ley Atenco” after the violence carried out in Atenco touched upon in the article.  Others have found Atenco’s name connected to the law misguided, calling it “Ley Eruviel” after the governor who introduced the bill.

[iii] Find the full text of the law here:









April 16, 2016

Launch of National Campaign in Defense of Mother Earth and Territory

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — dorsetchiapassolidarity @ 9:49 am



Launch of National Campaign in Defence of Mother Earth and Territory

EarthNational Campaign in Defence of Mother earth and Territory. @defensamadretierra


On April 10, the National Campaign in Defence of Mother Earth and Territory was launched in Mexico City to defend territory and combat the disinformation that exists in the country as regards dispossession. This campaign, made up of 179 organizations, collectives and associations, has three objectives for November 20 of this year: share struggles and stories of defence of Mother Earth to show how it is being destroyed and the importance of defending it; denounce how the destruction “is giving profits to the men of money, Mexican and foreign, and they call this predatory profit development and progress”; and also to make known alternative ways of life and government to show that “another way of life in society respecting Mother earth and our brothers” is possible.

The members of the campaign call on all towns, communities, neighborhoods and suburbs that suffer dispossession, destruction of Mother Earth caused by mining, petrol, and forestry projects, or that make water a merchandise; that struggle against agrochemicals, mono-cultivation, and preserve native seeds; that are being affected by pollution; that struggle against the privatization of beaches, mangrove swamps, lakes, forests and protected natural areas, to carry out actions as part of this campaign.




April 13, 2016

179 peoples, communities, barrios and organizations say: ¡State police out of Xochicuautla! ¡Stop the destruction of forest and homes!





Published on April 12, 2016 in State of Mexico 


179 peoples, communities, barrios and organizations say: ¡State police out of Xochicuautla! ¡Stop the destruction of forest and homes!



On Monday, April 11, 2016, around 800 State of Mexico riot police at the service of Grupo Higa laid siege to the Otomí community of San Francisco Xochicuautla, destroyed the camp set up in defence of the forest, used heavy machinery to illegally tear down the house of Dr. Armando García Salazar, and violently dragged out at least 25 men, women and children who were inside the house, including 64-year-old Isabel Hernández, a member of the Supreme Indigenous Council of Xochicuautla.

During the past decade, the Xochicuautla community has struggled against the destruction of this forest–– one of the country’s most important lungs –– a forest threatened by the construction of the Toluca-Naucalpan Toll Highway by the Autovan company, affiliated with shady businessman Juan Armando Hinojosa.

Community people finally achieved the suspension of the highway construction and were granted a writ by a federal judge that protected them against an expropriation decree for 37 hectares issued in 2015 by Hinojosa’s intimate friend Enrique Peña Nieto.

The violent eviction took place just after the approval of state legislation dubbed “The Atenco Law,” promoted by Governor Eruviel Ávila, which gives the police almost unlimited powers to trample on human rights in their drive to eliminate resistance movements. It’s not surprising, therefore, that the federal protection granted to the Xochicuautla community has been scorned by Grupo Higa and its shock troops, which have indicated that they will be committing even more atrocities in the days to come.

Nevertheless, this new attack against the Otomí community and its forest has already aroused widespread repudiation. It comes only two days after the founding of the National Campaign in Defence of Mother Earth and the Territory, made up of 179 peoples, communities, barrios and organizations in an effort to confront the massive plunder of their territories and the destruction of land, water, air and life itself. In the following statement, the Campaign responds to this new offensive against the Xochicuautla community.

Statement on San Francisco Xochicuautla

April 11, 2016, Editorial Committee

To the federal government of Enrique Peña Nieto,
To the state government of Eruviel Ávila Villegas,
To all peoples, barrios and communities,
To the organized and non-organized civil society,
To the news media,
To all who defend life and struggle against injustice:

The 179 peoples, communities, barrios and organizations that make up the National Campaign in Defense of Mother Earth and the Territory, raise our voices against the actions taken today in the San Francisco Xochicuautla community.

At around 10 o’clock in the morning, April 11, more than 800 state police forces laid siege to the community, blocking the entrance or exit of any person whatsoever. They then began to attack the community members by tearing down the encampment set up in 2015 to protect and defend the forest. Once the camp was dismantled, the police went for the houses located within Grupo Higa’s Toluca– Naucalpan highway project area.

Without presenting valid documentation, Luis Enrique García, head of the State of Mexico highway system, informed Dr. Armando García and his family that a valuation of their home would be conducted. Dr. García cited the existence of a protective writ that grants the provisional suspension of the project and invalidates the eviction of his family and the destruction of his home.

Comrades who were inside the house to prevent its destruction were beaten and dragged out. Among them was 64-year-old Isabel Hernández, who was knocked down along with her baby granddaughter, only to be kicked and beaten by the police. It’s important to note that Isabel is a member of the Supreme Indigenous Council of Xochicuautla. All of the family’s belongings were taken away by state agents, and a bulldozer began to destroy the house.

These actions taken by the government of the State of Mexico are an example of the politics of plunder being carried out nationally against peoples, communities and barrios in order to implement any number of megaprojects without consulting the people who live in the coveted territories. Such projects systematically violate the rights of indigenous peoples to self-determination and are clearly projects of destruction and ecocide.

This morning’s actions of the government of the State of Mexico are not only an attack on the will of the people of San Francisco Xochicuautla, but also violate the state’s own laws. They fail to respect protective order #1123/2015- V issued by the Second District Judge and Federal Courts in the State of Mexico, which grants the provisional suspension of the highway project. These actions also reveal the absence of access to justice and the politics of terror and criminalization against indigenous peoples in the State of Mexico.

Despite the fact that the community has been granted legal measures to stop further construction of the highway, and precautionary measures by the National Human Rights Commission to protect the population, the government of the State of Mexico is using the state police to impose the highway project, destroy homes and provoke the imminent devastation of the ancestral forest.

The peoples, communities, barrios and organizations that make up the National Campaign in Defence of Mother Earth and the Territory emphatically reject the abuses and acts of violence employed against San Francisco Xochicuautla, which violate their collective rights as an indigenous Otomí people and the individual guarantees of women and men, through the plunder of their forest and their homes.

We hold the federal government of Enrique Peña Nieto and the state government of Eruviel Ávila Villegas responsible for any and all damages to the physical and psychological integrity of the comrades in the community of San Francisco Xochicuautla. We condemn the criminalization and repression of the legitimate defence of the forest of San Francisco Xochicuautla.

¡We demand that they respect their own laws and the protective orders issued in favour of the people of Xochicuautla and that they suspend the highway project!
¡We demand an end to repression and the immediate exit of the armed forces of the State!
¡We demand reparations for the damages suffered by the affected families!
¡We demand respect for the self-determination of the people of San Francisco Xochicuautla!

WE are the ones who live on these lands, waters, mountains and hills. We are the guardians of our Mother Earth, and we will not permit her destruction.


National Campaign in Defence of Mother Earth and the Territory
Centre [Estado de México, Hidalgo, Morelos, Puebla, Tlaxcala]: Asamblea Permanente de los Pueblos de Morelos (Defensa del río Cuautla), Asamblea Permanente en Defensa de los Pueblos Unidos de Morelos, Comité Ciudadano Xinantécatl, Comunidad Agraria Indígena Tezontepec, Comunicadores Populares e Indígenas, Consejo de Defensa del Territorio Tiyat Tlalli, Cholula Viva y Digna, Defensa del Patrimonio de San Andrés Cholula; Fuego de la Digna Resistencia: (Administración Autónoma de Agua Potable de Coyotepec, Alianza Única del Valle, Apaxco Comunidades por la Vida, Centro de Derechos Humanos Zeferino Ladrillero, Coordinación de Pueblos Unidos en Defensa de la Energía Eléctrica, Comités de Usuarios de Energía Eléctrica En Resistencia Civil de Nezahualcóyotl, Delegación Indígena Otomí San Francisco Magú, Frente Popular 9 de Junio en Defensa de los Recursos Naturales, Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra, (San Salvador Atenco), Frente de los Pueblos en Defensa de la Madre Tierra. [San Lorenzo Huitzizilapan, Santa Cruz Ayotuxco, San Francisco Xochicuautla-Frente de Pueblos Indígenas en Defensa de la Madre Tierra. Lucha contra la construcción de la Autopista Toluca-Naucalpan.] Magisterio Mexiquense Contra la Reforma Educativa, Sistema de Agua Potable de Tecámac, Temascalapa,Vecinos Unidos del Poniente). Frente de Pueblos en Defensa de la Tierra y el Agua. Puebla, Morelos y Tlaxcala, Frentes Unidos en Defensa de Tepoztlán, Lucha por la recategorización del Xinantécatl,Makxtum Kalaw Chuchutsipi-Organización de los Pueblos Totonacos para la Defensa del Territorio, Movimiento Juvenil Huitzizilapan; Mexico City: Centro Cultural La Calaca, Centro de Estudios Ecuménicos,Colectivos Ajusco Medio (Tlalpan, Magdalena Contreras), Comité Estudiantil Metropolitano, Comunidad Pedregales por Ayotzinapa, Habitat International Coalition América Latina (HIC AL), Frente de Pueblos del Anáhuac (Tláhuac), GeoComunes,jóvenes en resistencia alternativa-comunidad, autonomía y libertad (COMUNAL), Laboratorio Multimedia para la Investigación UNAM, Lucha por el hábitat y la cultura (Álvaro Obregón), Movimiento de Aspirantes Excluidos de la Educación Superior (MAES),Movimiento Popular de Pueblos y Colonias del Sur,Observatorio Latinoamericano de Geopolítica (OLAG),Organización Popular Francisco Villa de la Izquierda Independiente, Perspectivas Críticas, Tejiendo Organización Revolucionaria (TOR), Unión Popular José María Morelos y Pavón (Edo.mex.), Vecinos y Vecinas de las Colonias Carrasco (Isidro Favela, Cantera Puente de Piedra y Pueblo Quieto y Periódico Cacomixtle (Tlalpan), Tonelhuayotzin Nuestra Raíz A.C., Red Nacional de Organismos Civiles de Derechos Humanos Todos los Derechos para Todas y todos, Servicios y Asesoría para la Paz, Telar de Raíces; Chiapas: Asociación Rural de Interés Colectivo A.C ARIC, Asociación Rural de Interés Colectivo de la Coalición de Organizaciones Autónomas de Ocosingo, Asociación Rural de Interés Colectivo Histórica, Barrios y sectores de los Altos de San Cristóbal, Bienes Comunales de la Zona Lacandona (Palestina Frontera corozal Mayas), Casa dela Mujer Ixim, Centro de Derechos Humanos Digna Ochoa, Comités Eclesiales de Base, Centro de Derechos de la Mujer de Chiapas. Cedemech, Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, Colectivo de Educación para la Paz y los Derechos Humanos (CEPAZDH), Comité Ciudadano para Defensa Popular (Cocidep), Comité de derechos Humanos “Fray Pedro Lorenzo de la Nada” AC, Comunidad 20 de junio, Comunidad Banavil, Comunidad Barrio Agua Azul, Comunidad Barrio Guadalupe, Comunidad Barrio San Jacinto, Comunidad Candelaria, Comunidad Carranza, Comunidad Colonia Virginia, Comunidad Chicosen, Comunidad Ejido Naranjo 2, Comunidad Jerusalén, Comunidad Poblado Victoria, Comunidad Quiniches, Comunidad San Rafael, Comunidad Sibacá, Consejo Autónomo Regional de la Zona Costa de Chiapas, Coordinación Diocesana de Mujeres Codimuj AC, Defensores de los Humedales de los Altos, Desarrollo Económico Social de los Mexicanos Indígenas, A.C. (Desmi), Ejido patiwits, Enlace Comunicación y Capacitación AC, Frente Campesino y Popular 10 de Abril (FCP-10Abril), Frente Cívico Ejido Nicolás Popular y las anexo Emiliano Zapata, Tonalteco y Ciudadanos de Tonalá, Juventudes indígenas de Jitotol, Tenejapa, Margaritas, Coco Sur, La Voz del Pueblo, Movimiento de la Vida Tierra y Territorio, Movite., Movimiento en Defensa de la Vida y del Territorio, Otra campaña de Ocosingo, Pastoral de la Tierra, Pastoral JRFP Tuxtla Gtz. Diócesis de Tuxtla/Construcción de la Paz, Pastoral Penitenciaria de Ocosingo, Pastoral Región San Pedro Toniná, Proyecto de vida, hermandad y solidaridad, Pueblo Creyente, Representantes de Pueblos y comunidades de chimalapas Oaxaca, Representantes Parroquiales de Ocosingo, San Caralampio, Unión de Campesinos de la Sierra, Unión de Campesinos y Pescadores de la Sierra y Costa de Chiapas, Guerrero: Casa de Justicia de San Luis Acatlán Coordinadora Regional de Autoridades Comunitarias-Policía Comunitaria, Comité en Defensa del Río San Luis Acatlán, Consejo de Autoridades Agrarias Tlapanecas, Consejo de Ejidos y Comunidades Opositores a la Presa La Parota (CECOP);
North: Autoridades Tradicionales de la Tribu Yaqui, Bienes Comunales Isla Tiburón, Comité De Defensa por Los Derechos Indígenas de Sinaloa, Consejo de Ancianos de Hant Comcáac, Desemboque Del Rio San Ignacio,Sonora /Grupo Defensores del Territorio Comcáac, Gobierno Tradicional Mayos/Yoreme de Sinaloa, Mayos/Yoreme de Sinaloa y Sonora, No a la minería en Hant Comcáac/No A Los Megaproyectos, Pueblo Guarijio Proyecto Presa Bicentenario Los Pilares, Tohono O’odham; Oaxaca: Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez, Centro Prodh A.C., Centro de Derechos Humanos Tepeyac del Istmo de Tehuantepec, Centro de Derechos Indígenas Flor y Canto A.C., Cerro de las Huertas, Colectivo Oaxaqueño en Defensa de los Territorios, Comité por la Defensa de los Derechos Indígenas (CODEDI),Consejo de Organizaciones Oaxaqueñas Autónomas (COOA), Coordinadora de Pueblos Unidos del Valle de Ocotlán (CPUVO), Espacio Alternativo Yunhiz, Espacio Estatal en Defensa del Maíz Nativo de Oaxaca, Jaltepec de Candayoc, Magdalena Teitipac, Monte del Toro, Movimiento Agrario Indígena Zapatista-Mixteca, Ojo de Agua, Comunicación y Capacitación A.C., Organizaciones Indias por los Derechos Humanos (OIDHO), Red de Defensoras y Defensores Comunitarios de los Pueblos de Oaxaca, San José del Progreso, San Juan Cacahuatec, San Miguel Panixtlahuaca, Santa María Magdalena Tiltepec, Santiago Xanica, Santo Domingo Teojomulco, Servicios del Pueblo Mixe, Ser Mixe A.C., Servicios para una Educación Alternativa A.C., Servicios Universitarios y Redes de Conocimiento en Oaxaca (SURCO) A.C., Tequio Jurídico A.C., Unión Campesina Indígena de Oaxaca “Emiliano Zapata” (UCIO-EZ), Unión de Organizaciones de la Sierra Juárez de Oaxaca S.C. (UNOSJO), Universidad de la Tierra Oaxaca, Voces Oaxaqueñas Construyendo Autonomía y Libertad (VOCAL),; EAST: Asociación un Salto de Vida, Bios Iguana, A.C., Central Unitaria de Trabajadores (CUT), Colectivo de Abogadxs, Colectivo de Organizaciones Ciudadanas por el Agua (COLOCA), Comité de Mujeres Ecologistas de La Huizachera – Río Santiago, Comité Salvemos Temacapulín Acasico y Palmarejo – Presa El Zapotillo, Comunidad Acasico, Comunidad de Zacualpan, Comunidad El Salto, Comunidad Indígena Purépecha Cherán Keri, Comunidad La Huizachera, Comunidad Mesa del Nayar, Comunidad Palmarejo, Comunidad Rosarito, Comunidad Santa Teresa, Comunidad Saycota, Comunidad Temacapulín, Consejo Indígena Nayheri, Consejo Indígena por la Defensa del Territorio de Zacualpan, Frente en Defensa del Agua y contra su Privatización (FADAP), Grupo Ecológico Manglar, Instituto Mexicano para el desarrollo Comunitario AC, Salvemos Temacapulin y Palmarejo, Tómala un golpe a la conciencia;Peninsula: Colectivo Apícola de los Chenes., Educación Cultura y Ecología A.C (Quintana Roo), Indignación Promoción y Defensa de los Derechos Humanos A.C., Tonelhuayotzin Nuestra Raíz A.C, Unión de Pobladores y Pobladoras de Chablekal;Veracruz: Amatlán ya despierta, Colectivo Defensa Verde Naturaleza para siempre, Comité Ciudadano por un Veracruz Limpio A.C.
Photo: Frente Juvenil Xochicuautla




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